Jordan Brand’s 2018 Highlight Reel
To think some thought that Jays were dead *laughs hysterically*. After a few missed shots last year, the Jumpman came back with an in-your-face posterising slam dunk in 2018.
Perhaps symbolic considering the brand’s snowballing momentum, we kicked off the year by celebrating the 30th anniversary of the sneaker that convinced MJ to stick with Team Swoosh — a strong first quarter performance, to say the least. A smorgasbord of collaborative projects and limited drops followed, resulting in an L epidemic that many may never find a cure for. Turns out you really can’t tell people not to resell…
It was a year where Jordan Brand reaffirmed its legendary status in the sneakerverse. And, as we know, legends never die.
The Air Jordan 3 Celebrates the Big Three-Oh
Jordan Brand kicked off the year with help from the Man of the Woods, as Justin Timberlake brought the Air Jordan 3’s sexy back with a limited ‘JTH’ colourway. Debuting during his 2018 Super Bowl halftime performance, the Swooshed-up AJ3 was an early teaser for an influx of new colourways scheduled for the silhouette’s 30th anniversary year.
Arguably the most important Jay of all time, the Air Jordan 3 ‘Black Cement’ got a long-awaited retro soon after, hitting shelves with the iconic ‘Nike Air’ heel branding for the first time since 2001. We don’t think anyone’s missing the Jumpman logo, and we don’t see it returning to future retro releases anytime soon… Hope you’re reading this, Beaverton!
Ironically (albeit unsurprisingly), it took a classic sneaker to breathe some new life into the Jordan Brand lineup. Appealing to the old heads, as well as the sneaker scene’s new breed, the release reminded us that MJ’s sneaker legacy will forever be paved with ‘Black Cement’.
You Got to Have 1 Love
When it comes to sought-after drops, the Air Jordan 1 was Jordan Brand’s number one. We were given a steady flow of heat throughout the year, reaffirming the high-top’s status as one of the best sneakers of all time. Period.
Virgil Abloh revisited his inaugural AJ1 collaboration from ‘The Ten’, coming through with two more takes in ‘UNC’ blue and white. While not commanding the same resale prices as the first drop, the ‘UNC’ colourway made up a whopping 27 per cent of StockX’s market share for Q2 — ‘HYPE’ indeed.
The silhouette’s unrivalled colour-blocking potential was also on show, as the popular ‘Black Toe’ make-up proved to be the brand’s go-to throughout the year. The ‘Best Hand in the Game’ AJ1 collection gave us four different ‘Black Toe’ takes, before a ‘Pine Green’/‘Court Purple’ one-two punch got Jordanheads digging even deeper into their wallets. Copping was tough work, despite the brand’s (and the retailer’s) best efforts, but it was a warning sign for things to come.
Jordan Brand saved its biggest surprise hit for the end of the year, as Union LA’s Air Jordan 1 trolled its way to the top of sneakerheads’ wishlists. People were not prepared. The sneaker’s appeal transcended LA’s cool crowd, and salty Ls were taken the world over.
The 'Concord' Takes Flight Again
The Jumpman saved its biggest release of 2018 (and possibly ever) for December, with the famed Air Jordan 11 ‘Concord’ taking flight again after a seven-year hiatus. The brand took their time bringing back the iconic baller, but their decision was backed up in a big way, with pairs flying off shelves faster than the speed of sound.
An epic release calls for an epic product rollout, and no one does ‘em better than German retailer BSTN. To celebrate the return of the sleek baller, BSTN linked up with Germany’s leading customisation workshop IMPULS to create an insane Ducati 916 ‘Concord’ motorcycle.
The Jumpman continues to put up numbers, and while their status as MVP is debatable, we wouldn’t bet against season 2019 being another record breaker.